Dani32’s Weblog

My English Blog

“I Stand Here Ironing” & “The Yellow Wallpaper”

“I Stand Here Ironing” is story that takes a predominant Marxist approach.  Its story about a mother and daughter limited to their social status by poverty and social restrictions.  The story is set in the era of the great depression. The narrator describes her daughter as “a child of her age, of depression, of war, of fear” which is telling because Marxism believes you are a by-product of your social class and limited to only that.  The narrator expresses disappointment for not being able to provide for her daughter the she would like.  Because she had to work so many laborious hours, it created a disconnect for her and her daughter.  Marxism also believes that workers are beholden to there employers because their social class demands they strive to acquire the capital needs to survive.    

While reading Perkins-Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, I felt the story took a feminist approach.  The main character is not even recognized with a name while her husband is given a name, John.  The story also tells about the subordination of marriage and the role of the house wife.  She talks about how John has set her on schedule and she has task that have to be done.  She is not given the freedom to even write a journal.  This is an example of how women are treated as lower class citizens.  As the story goes along, the main character starts to see a woman in the wallpaper, trying to break free of the pattern and she sees that as herself, trying to gain freedom from her repressive marriage.  This is an example of women’s struggle to acheive equal status, the main theory of feminism. 

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1 Comment»

  nmbayley wrote @

Danielle,

You are always very deep in your considerations. I like that you quote the story and chose a very powerful statement that connects perfectly to a Marxist perspective on “I Stand Here Ironing.” The ideology of the worker is so important in considering the motivations of the mother in reacting to her time period and to the limitations she must impose on her relationship with her daughter.

In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” most of all I like that you actually point out that the women did not have a name. I think that is the first time I really considered the importance of that. We know she has no voice, is not allowed opinions based on the influence of her husband, but are we ever told her name? Very important in the patriarchal society of the Victorian era, as women are suppressed and given no voice to reason, to express their needs and discontent, and apparently no recognition as people with identities.


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